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Ben Waldie

iOS Productivity: Printing from Your iPhone or iPad via Your Mac

By Ben WaldieSep 3, 2012

AirPrint was introduced with iOS 4.2, and lets you to print right from your iOS device.  Now you can be super productive, right?  Only if you have an AirPrint enabled printer at your disposal.  Although there are hundreds of printers available that support AirPrint these days, what if you're like me, and have older printers that iOS doesn't recognize?  Your Mac can help.

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Mountain Lion GateKeeper Workaround

By Ben WaldieAug 28, 2012

If you're a Mountain Lion user, then you've probably encountered GateKeeper.  This is Apple's latest security mechanism, which restricts the apps that can be launched on your Mac.  By default, GateKeeper only allows apps to run that are from the Mac App Store, or digitally signed by official developers who have registered with Apple.  Try and launch an app from an unknown developer, and GateKeeper shuts it right down. What if you need to use the app, though?  Can you launch it without disabling GateKeeper entirely?  Sure you can.

Ben Waldie

iOS Productivity: Remotely Access Your Mac with LogMeIn

By Ben WaldieAug 20, 2012

Your ability to accomplish things while on the go is key to your mobile productivity.  You've got tons of great apps on your iPhone or iPad, and probably have some level of access to your important files too, maybe through Dropbox or iCloud.  You can do almost anything, but every now and then, you hit a wall.  Maybe you need to make some emergency changes in an InDesign layout back home, check on the status of your Mac's backup, or dig up tax returns you filed away on your external drive.  If only you could connect to your Mac remotely, take control, and do what you need.  With LogMeIn, you can do exactly that.

Ben Waldie

Mac and iOS Productivity Tip: Keeping Up with the News

By Ben WaldieAug 15, 2012

Staying up to date with your favorite websites and blogs can be a real chore, and a major productivity drain.  If only there was a way to quickly get the latest unread headlines from top sites in one place, at any time, on any devices.  There is.  Available for iPad, iPhone, and Mac is Reeder, the popular Google Reader client.

Ben Waldie

iOS Productivity: Downloading Knowledge Faster

By Ben WaldieAug 6, 2012

Your iPhone and iPad are full of useful knowledge.  You've downloaded tons of audio books, podcasts, and iTunesU content.  The problem is that there just aren't enough hours in the day to download all of it to your brain.  Here's a tip that might help...

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Scheduling AppleScripts

By Ben WaldieJul 30, 2012

If you're an Automator user, you probably know how to create iCal Alarm workflows, which can be set to run at scheduled times, allowing processing to occur during downtime.  If you're not familiar with Automator or iCal Alarm workflows, check out some of my other tips to get acquainted...

Using Automator: Scheduling Workflows

Mac Automation Made Simple: Scheduling Automator Workflows (video)

What about AppleScripts?  Can't they be run on a schedule too?  You bet.  There are actually a couple of primary ways this can be done.

Ben Waldie

iOS Productivity: 5 Tips for Locating and Launching Apps Faster

By Ben WaldieJul 23, 2012

Last week, I shared some useful tips for locating and launching apps faster on your Mac.  But what about your iOS devices?  They're full of apps too.  And, with pages and pages of apps, it can be a real pain in the neck to find the one you want.  Here are some tips to help you wade through them.

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: 5 Tips for Locating and Launching Apps Faster

By Ben WaldieJul 16, 2012

How often do you find yourself digging through your Dock, Launchpad, or Applications folder to find a certain app?  You've got other stuff to do.  How about making things a little easier, so you can get back to work?  Here are some tips to help you locate that elusive app and launch it a little more quickly.

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows - Set Desktop to Astronomy Picture of the Day

By Ben WaldieJul 9, 2012

Each day, our good friends at NASA are kind enough to share a breathtaking photo of our wonderful universe.  Sometimes of the Earth, sometimes of the heavens, these photos showcase natural beauty that is surely Desktop-background worthy.  Here's how you can create an Automator workflow that runs each night to set your Desktop to the latest photo...

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows - Implementing a Spoken Dictionary

By Ben WaldieMay 29, 2012

A handy feature in Mac OS X is the ability to quickly and easily define words.  In most applications, just Control+click the desired word, and choose Look Up "TheSelectedWord" from the contextual menu to bring up the system-wide dictionary.  Even easier, if you've got a trackpad, just double-tap the word with three fingers to display its definition.  Automator lets you get even more creative.  You can expand these useful dictionary services with one that will read the definition to you.  Here's how you do it...

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows - Creating Quick Notes

By Ben WaldieMay 7, 2012

It's 9AM and your boss is on the phone.  She's rattling off important info you need for your 9:30AM conference call.  Quick!  You need somewhere to take notes.  Sure, you could use your email client - Mail and Outlbook both include note features.  Or, you could use on of the 50,000 note taking apps you've downloaded.  Better yet, why not use that handy Automator Service workflow you created?  You know, the one that automatically creates RTF notes into a Quick Notes folder, names them with the current date and time, and opens them in TextEdit so you can quickly begin typing?  You recall how easy it was to create.  Here's how you did it...

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows - Print PDF to FTP Server

By Ben WaldieApr 30, 2012

In Mac OS X, it’s a snap to convert almost any document to PDF.  From the print dialog, simply choose Save as PDF... from the PDF popup button.  If you’ve done this before, then you may have noticed there are some other options in this popup, as well, such as Mail PDF.  These are print plugins, and, using Automator, it’s possible to create your own and add them to the list.  Suppose you upload PDFs to your FTP server on a regular basis, so you can share them with your family, coworkers, or whoever.  Every time you do this, you have to save your document somewhere as a PDF, launch the popular FTP client Transmit, connect to the server, and upload the PDF.  This is a perfect time to create a custom print plugin to do this for you.  Here’s how...

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